Fri, 08 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], November 20 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested one more accused in the Visakhapatnam espionage case involving leakage of classified defence information through a Pakistani ISI spying network.

Amaan Salim Shaikh was arrested from Mumbai following raids conducted by the NIA at two locations in Mumbai (Maharashtra) and another at Hojai and Nagaon districts in Assam.

With Shaikh's arrest, the total number of accused arrested in the case so far stands at three. A total of four persons, including two absconding Pakistani operatives, have already been charge-sheeted by the NIA.

Shaikh was found involved in the activation of the SIM cards that were being used by the Pakistani Intelligence Officers involved in the racket, which first came to light in 2021, when the Counter Intelligence Cell, Andhra Pradesh, registered the case on January 12, 2021.

The NIA took over the case in June this year.NIA teams today also seized two mobile phones from the location from which Shaikh was arrested. Two more mobile phones and a host of sensitive documents were seized from other locations raided by the NIA.On July 19 this year, the NIA filed a chargesheet against two accused, including an absconding Pakistani national, Meer Balaj Khan.

Investigations had revealed that Meer Balaj Khan, along with an arrested accused, identified as Akash Solanki, were part of an espionage module who were procuring and leaking sensitive vital information pertaining to the Indian Navy to Pakistan-based handlers.

On November 6 this year, the NIA filed a supplementary chargesheet against two other accused persons, identified as Manmohan Surendra Panda and Alven.

"While Panda is under arrest, Alven, a Pakistani Intelligence Operative, is absconding, as he is based in Pakistan," said the NIA."Investigations are continuing in the case and custodial interrogation of Amaan is expected to yield more leads in the conspiracy relating to attempts by foreign-based elements to obtain sensitive and classified information relating to defence establishments across the country," added the agency. (ANI)

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